Another thing that I miss about America is rampant, society-consuming commercialism. We force immigrants and the poor to work during the weekends, holidays, and odd hours — times when they could be with their family, celebrating birthdays, or just getting along. We make them work for our convenience. I mean, what if we need a bag of shredded Swiss cheese at three o’clock in the morning on Sunday, July 4? We would go to our local Wal-Mart, grab it, and check out with the Iranian woman who can’t speak English. Here, though, they have the audacity to close on Sundays, major holidays, and have unbelievably short hours. Some stores close at 6 p.m. — the madness.
So, today, when I remembered that I had to buy magnets for class tomorrow, I didn’t really think this was going to be an adventure, or difficult, and it wouldn’t have been, but it was. If I had gone out yesterday afternoon, I would have walked 10 minutes to the Monoprix and purchased a handful of magnets for three euros or something like that. But, since today was a Sunday, the Monoprix was closed. Luckily, though, I checked before I left the apartment. The BHV website said they would be open, so I headed out for there.
My subway stop seems to have had an influx of greedy hobos who don’t even have the common decency to carry around a half-starved puppy for sympathy. These ones want you to feel bad for them because of their physical ailments. Every single time I descended to my stop I was asked for money from them. The man looked perfectly healthy and the woman pretended she needed arm braces and crutches to walk. I don’t buy that crap for a minute, especially when they begin to beg in perfect English. These people are masterminds of small crime. Luckily, later in the day, I found the perfect way to get back at them.
I hopped onto the Metro and rode until we got to the BHV. I exited the Metro and it was CLOSED! Joy! I got back on the Metro and rode to Concorde because it is my favorite place in all of Paris, and a very pivotal area in my book, so I needed to scope out the sights. They have this hideous ferris wheel there now, I don’t know why, but it totally detracts from the area and really annoys me. Not enough to make me not like the place, but it is still mightily disturbing.
Then, one of the Bosnians approached me and asked if I spoke English, I shook my head “no”, then asked if I spoke French, I don’t know why I did it, but I responded, “Ich spreche kein französisches,” in my best German. She immediately thought I was a Nazi and retreated. This has worked every time, so may I suggest learning a few phrases in an obscure language like Romanian or something to confuse them, it’s good fun.
I walked around and took some pictures, and generally enjoyed myself. The very end of the Jardin Tuileries is truly fantastic (when you weed out the bums). I noticed a cart full of tourist goods, a cart which included magnets! I was enthused until they were five euros each. I left for the Champs-Elysées, because that is where the only other Monoprix is located that I know of.
When I got there, I was informed that they didn’t sell anything like that. I thought that she had to be joking, so I looked around, but she was right. Losing hope, I wandered around until I was offended at the price of blank DVDs, two euros for one? I then left for the Virgin Megastore. They had magnets, but they were ten euros each, they were cheap looking plastic Harajuku dolls. I left in a huff for the Disney Store, they had to have something made of iron that had been beaten in line with the Earth’s magnetic field. In fact, they did, but it was the kind of magnet that is bendable and would just melt in an oven, so still no luck.
Realizing that my only option was to go back to the tourist cart at Place de la Concorde and pay twenty euros for four tacky magnets that I would break, I headed to the HSBC to withdraw some money. I had to pass the Luis Vuitton store, much to my irritation. Kanye West is developing a line of clothing to go there. I saw one of the shoes he “designed” — crap. But don’t tell him, he’ll think you can’t appreciate art. I truly can’t stand the man — too full of himself and what he’s full of is poo.
I got my money, rode back to the store, got the stupid magnets and went home. On the train was a man with a hideously deformed face. It looks like someone took it and mushed it all together into the center of his face. It was like meeting the Phantom of the Opera.
It was only three in the afternoon and I still wanted to go to Père Lachaise Cemetery to see a few graves. I grabbed the train, was harassed by a bum, and walked ten minutes to the entry. Laughing hysterically as I saw the sign that said closed for ice and snow (in the bright, warm, shining sun) I walked back, grabbed the train, and walked back to my apartment.
When I was talking to Ma, I realized that I had forgotten to eat today which was strange, so I made two dinners for myself and watched French & Saunders. I love that show…
I am going to go read some more about the Arizona Egyptians. They are fascinating!
UPDATE: My gums are bleeding and I don’t know why, my back-upper-right molar hurts!
UPDATE 2: If I lived next to me, I would hate me. I had to smash those magnets with a hammer to separate them from their delightful ceramic scenarios! It caused quite a clatter.